BHOPAL: Connection between glamorous film stars and potholed roads of Madhya Pradesh is old. It started with Hema Malini criticizing the bad roads publicly at a function in Datia later to be followed by Raveena Tandon. Though these are old incidents, these have refreshed the memories after organisers of an event, as a crew member said, mentally prepared film actress Aishwarya Rai about the MP roads before inviting her to Datia. The crew’s logistics team of the production unit had spent a huge amount repairing ‘crater like potholes’ to ensure a safe ride.
The national highway 44 that connects Gwalior-Datia-Jhansi had earned the ire of many including the film stars. Though the condition of the highway has improved, other roads connecting to nearby towns and villages continue to be in bad shape, said a resident of Datia Ashok Sharma.
“It’s unfortunate that the celebrities who land here to go to Orchha, Gwalior or any destination in Uttar Pradesh often carry a negative image about the state just because of the road conditions,” said Sharma.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan came to Datia and travelled to Orchha by road last Friday. The event organisers had to mentally prepare her about bad roads before taking the flight.
Most of the roads are good: Collector
Collector Datia, Sanjay Kumar said that the main Gwalior-Datia-Jhansi road is quite good. ‘Some connecting roads from Datia to nearby villages may have been impacted by recent rains and floods but largely most of the roads here are good,’ said Kumar.
Route: Gwalior- Datia: Hema was surprised over MP’s bad roads The first to raise voice during a public programme was dream girl Hema Malini in November 2012. She had to go to Datia from Gwalior to attend Datia Mahotsav. She reached Gwalior by air and then travelled to Datia-75 kms by road. She covered this distance in more than three hours. The BJP MP vent out the pain she had gone through on the potholed roads publicly in that programme. She not only expressed her anguish but also was surprised over such bad roads in the state. After this MLA from this region and the then health minister Narottam Mishra not only apologised but also asked Hema Malini to raise the issue in Parliament as the road was part of National Highway that comes under central government.
Route: Jhansi to Gwalior: ‘Purza purza hil gaya’
A little later, another celebrity Raveena Tandon too had gone through the same pain traveling from Jhansi to Gwalior by road. While Hema Malini was angry, Raveena expressed it in a subtle manner.
Raveena was invited by Gwalior District Tourism Promotion Council to judge a fashion show which was part of ‘Gwalior Carnival’. From the stage she had said that “Yaha taka aate aate badan ka purza purza hil gaya” (all parts of the body are shocked).
Route Bhopal-Nagpur: Improve state roads, Rishi had urged CM
In February 2017, veteran actor Rishi Kapoor made his displeasure about the state roads’ public after getting held up by traffic on the Bhopal-Nagpur road. “This road which connects Bhopal to Nagpur is full of narrow lanes. I will request your (of Madhya Pradesh) Chief Minister to improve the roads in the state,” Rishi Kapoor had appealed. “At a time when excellent roads are being constructed everywhere in India, highways and four-laneways are being developed, why are such roads not being constructed here (in Madhya Pradesh),” Kapoor had said then.
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